It used to be that building or managing a simple app was a challenging task. You'd have to learn one or more programming languages, write several lines of code, and hope that all goes well when it's time to launch. But everything hardly ever goes well.
More often than not, you'd still have to go through the harrowing process of manually testing debugging to correct a mistake as simple as a missing comma. And it doesn't stop there. Updating the app or making a quick hotfix entails the same arduous process.
These days, thanks to numerous drag and drop tools, non-technical people can successfully build and manage fully functional apps without writing a line of code. Interestingly, the no-code landscape is gradually extending beyond web builders. You can now build ecommerce marketplaces, web apps, mobile apps, and automated workflows without learning programming languages.
No-code tools are software development platforms that empower everyone to build and launch their applications, websites, or workflows without writing any code. Typically, the user interacts with a graphic user interface (GUI) to drag and drop their desired features and visualize the development process.
No-code and low-code development platforms are often used interchangeably. However, it's vital to note that there's a distinction between the two. While no-code platforms allow users to build their software or website from scratch without writing a single line of code, low-code platforms still require limited amounts of coding. Thus, with low-code tools, you'd have to work with a technical person at some point or throughout the development process.
Many people hold the misconception that no-code platforms are meant for only non-technical people and startups with lean resources. However, reality paints an entirely different picture. Numerous enterprise businesses have embraced no-code tools because they help simplify internal reporting and workflows.
Plus, they provide a level playing ground for non-developers to implement simple ideas while giving developers enough time to focus on the more challenging aspects of their work. Below are some of the benefits you stand to gain from adopting no-code tools:
No code tools take the complexity out of building apps. They're user-friendly, easy to deploy and allow development teams to bring their idea to life as quickly as possible. They're particularly beneficial for companies looking to build a minimum viable product (MVP) or add new features to an existing project without reshuffling their product map.
Most companies completely rely on their engineering team to execute even the simplest product-related tasks. While this may work for large-scale enterprises, startups and growing companies with limited engineering resources may struggle with the model. With a no-code platform, the engineering team can set the groundwork and leave other product team members to complete the task.
The need for quality assurance and testing during product development is immediate. However, it might take the engineering team many months to develop a comprehensive testing protocol that will cover all the product features. Furthermore, they'll have to constantly update the tests as they add new features to the product.
All these add yet another layer of constraint to product development and further lengthens the time to market. With an automated no-code testing tool, you can skip the need for unit tests and develop a comprehensive QA protocol within minutes. Consequently, you'll save your time and resources for other aspects of product development.
No-code tools allow you to develop automated workflows that save time on repetitive tasks. For example, if you have to report specific KPIs at every scrum meeting, you can create an automated workflow that generates the report and sends it to your mail a day to the meeting.
Typically, setting up this kind of workflow would only take minutes but would end up saving you precious hours in the long run. Moreover, workflows help you mirror how your team works, so you don't have to retrain them on every new task or tool. Even new members would find it easier to adapt in the presence of automated workflows.
Below are some of the best no-code tools that can radically transform your development environment and make your team more efficient.
Preflight is an automated software testing platform that empowers you to carry out QA, functionality, and responsiveness testing on your website or web app within minutes. Through its advanced features, PreFlight takes the difficulty out of setting up and deploying test cases on websites as well as web and mobile apps. Aside from core QA testing, the software also supports cross-browser testing and testing products on different screen sizes and devices.
These tasks cannot be automated with Selenium or Cypress because it requires cumbersome technical implementation. Furthermore, manual testing takes more time when you want to test different screen sizes or browsers.
Preflight offers expanded test coverage and points out exactly where the problem is from if there are any. PreFlight also has Advanced AI change awareness algorithms to automatically adapt to the changes. Furthermore, you can trigger tests with any CI/CD integration or schedule tests to match your development plans, and you also get to record the testing process, allowing you to recreate virtually everything you can do on the web.
Engineering teams typically spend enormous amounts of time and effort to set up and deploy software testing frameworks. Preflight helps reduce the effort and time that goes into software testing, thereby allowing teams to spend more time working on the core product.
Bubble is the most popular no-code development platform for designing, building, and deploying software products ranging from websites to web and mobile apps to fully functional ecommerce marketplaces. Users can build market-ready apps or marketplaces with zero input from software developers through Bubble's numerous templates and drag and drop features. The platform also boasts an extensive library of plugins and more than 1000 third-party integrations that ensure users get exactly what they want.
Bubble is a torchbearer among low-code application development platforms. It's the go-to option for most startups and enterprises looking for software that allows them to build a minimum viable product (MVP) in record time.
Webflow is a no-code website builder that also provides hosting and other services. The platform is known for its flexibility and ease of use, empowering users to develop beautifully designed websites that suit their tastes. Webflow has a customizable content management system (CMS) that helps users create a unique and dynamic structure and style for their content. Unlike many other web builders that require some knowledge of CSS for best results, you can get away with not writing any code for Webflow.
Webflow seamlessly closes the gap between visual design mocks and the product. You'll get exactly what you designed, and you can also iterate faster when reviewing the design. The client-facing CMS is also an added advantage.
Code 2 prides itself as the easiest way to build web apps without coding. The platform boasts a powerful visual editor that helps users create 'pixel-perfect designs and turn them into customer-facing web apps.' Like other no-code app builders, Code2 opens the door for non-technical founders to implement their ideas and test the viability without investing heavily in engineering teams.
Code2 has an in-built database that allows you to focus on building your application without worrying about where to store your data. There's also a free plan that helps you get a feel of the platform before making a purchase decision.
GlideApps helps you build apps from a Google Sheet for free. It's a highly user-friendly tool and an excellent choice for enterprises and startups that want to create database-related apps such as inventory management, customer relationship management, and budgeting applications. There's an extensive array of templates to choose from, and you can also invite your team to collaborate on the platform.
With GlideApps, you can build apps supported by both Android and iOS stores within minutes and without any prior coding knowledge.
Voiceflow helps developers, designers, and creators build Voice apps and chatbots without coding. The platform leverages the growing popularity of conversational AI, empowering users to design, prototype, and launch their voice chatbots with a few clicks. Voiceflow further allows users to launch their voice chatbots on Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. Admittedly, integrating with these giants requires coding if you wish to do it right.
Designing a conversational assistant typically requires working with Spreadsheets, Word Docs, and static flowcharts. While these tools will eventually get the job done, it prevents seamless collaboration and iteration among teams. Voiceflow solves this problem and takes the complexity out of voice app design.
Zapier is a top-of-the-line automation tool that connects your applications and processes to make you more efficient and productive. The platform integrates with and connects over 3000 applications, including Quickbooks, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. The idea is to fully automate your workflows by connecting all your important applications and consequently eliminate the inefficiency of scheduling and executing tasks manually.
Zapier makes it easy for entrepreneurs and startups to integrate their platforms with the most popular web and mobile applications. Previously, this would have been an arduous task because integrating often requires a deep knowledge of software engineering. However, with Zapier, you can get what you want with a few clicks.
MailChimp is an all-in-one digital marketing solution for small businesses and enterprises alike. The platform is best known for the ease they bring into creating email lists and sending automated emails and newsletters to subscribers. As usual, users get to enjoy a variety of integrations with various tools and platforms. Consequently, you can aggregate your marketing strategy and manage all your data, channels, and insights on one platform.
Marketing remains a fundamental part of any business venture, and there's hardly any marketing strategy that won't involve emails. MailChimp helps you automate your marketing process, and you can even customize certain features to fit your needs.
Airtable is a collaboration software that gives users the functionality of a database alongside a spreadsheet interface. The software allows for relational database dynamics via its rows and columns interface while serving as a unified workspace and data source for all team members. With Airspace, teams can build applications that simplify their workflows.
Airtable promises seamless collaborations in a familiar environment. The software is customizable and easy to use, plus it comes with a wide range of integrations that can enhance your productivity.
If the current trends are anything to go by, we can safely conclude that no-code tools are no longer the future of rapid application development. They're the present! These tools open the door for non-technical people to implement their ideas while helping developers to become more efficient at their core tasks.
That said, whether you're building your app with no-code tools or coding from scratch, you'd need to test your web and mobile apps to ensure your app meets the desired specifications.
Preflight, one of the leaders in the low/no-code space, takes the hard work out of developing testing protocols so you can serve quality apps.
Contact us today to book a demo and see how we can help.